Green Room

MSNBC host: Let’s face it, conservatives are just suspicious of birth control

posted at 1:02 pm on January 26, 2014 by

Let me begin by saying that Chris Hayes has been a friend for nearly ten years.  He’s a smart guy who couldn’t be nicer in person.  But this “analysis” is just embarrassingly weak:

He tweeted that pearl of ignorance amid the manufactured uproar over Mike Huckabee’s “female libido” comments — which were clearly aimed at Democrats, and weren’t disparaging toward women under any fair reading.  But none of that matters once a narrative-driving feeding frenzy is underway.  Conservatives are absolutely right to oppose the administration’s liberty-depriving, intolerant, unconstitutional birth control mandate.  That being said, I don’t think it’s helpful for male conservative figures to weigh in on women’s sex drives in any context.  In any case, back to Hayes’ contention. Lest one think he’d been misunderstood, Hayes clarified:

He apparently couldn’t fathom any scenario in which people who are totally fine with birth control would nevertheless oppose Obamacare’s coercive mandate on the matter. Unleash the snark:

Several folks quickly jumped on Hayes’ case, reducing his argument and its underlying assumptions to intellectual rubble.  A small sampling:

But here’s the data that delivers a coup de grace to Hayes’ assertions and subsequent speculation:

That’s a Gallup poll taken in 2012, when this controversy first boiled over. As you can see, the partisan gap between Republicans and Democrats on the moral acceptability of, say, abortion is vast — 30 percentage points. But on birth control, that gap vanishes. The overwhelming majority of people who populate both “political coalitions” have no problem with birth control. And yet, a CBS News poll from around the same time showed that 57 percent of Americans also believe religious employers should be allowed to opt out of the government’s new birth control edict. My painfully obvious conclusion:

You see, conservatives and people who care about the First Amendment generally can simultaneously believe that (a) birth control should be widely available and affordable in a free society, and (b) the federal government shouldn’t force people to pay for (or facilitate) others’ contraception — especially if those people are, say, the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Supreme Court will settle this dispute in a few months, and I suspect the side of religious freedom, tolerance, and core American liberty will prevail. And it may not be close. Nevertheless, the Left’s willful attempts to conflate opposition to the birth control mandate with opposition to birth control itself remains a sub-moronic and cynical form of deception.  It would be nice if the Left’s supposed smart set would at least take four seconds to consider what might actually be motivating their opponents instead of reflexively going the hack route.

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Yes, I am Catholic and yes it is utterly creepy that elderly men are making up rules regarding my sexual parts or even thinking about my sexual parts. The theology of the body especially creeps me out. I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to know JPII’s idea of human sexuality considering his lack of practical knowledge in this area. I also don’t think that the Catholic teachings on birth control are infallible or ordained by God.

I hate to break it to you, but you are not Catholic, no matter how you label yourself. The Catholic Church is an “all or nothing” proposition. One cannot be Catholic and only believe half of what the Church teaches. You may not think teachings about human sexuality are infallible, but according to the Church they are. And if you do not accept the basic tenets of what the Church teaches regarding what is and is not infallible doctrine, then why belong to the Church in the first place? One can venerate the saints and honor Mary without being a Catholic.

Yes, I mean the Catholic Church. And the Church is against me using birth control for quality of life situations because my only job is to be a baby incubator. That is my only value in the Church.

If you truly believe that is how the Catholic Church views women… if you truly believe that your only value to the Church is as a “baby incubator”… then why in the world would you want to call yourself Catholic? If that is what the Church actually taught (hint: it isn’t), I wouldn’t want to be a Catholic either.

I do accept the Church on areas of faith. I’m particularly devoted to different saints and I love the Church’s teachings on Mary and the Marian shrines.

The proper use of our human sexuality is most definitely an area of faith. How nice that you’ve “compartmentalized” enough, though, that you can say “well, I don’t have to agree with the Church on this, because I don’t consider that an area of faith.” Again, I ask… if you disagree with basic Church teachings on so many things, why would you want to be Catholic? I respect that you’re devoted to the saints and to Mary, but you could go to an Episcopalian church and find them praying to the saints too, without all those pesky teachings on contraception. I just don’t see why you want to be Catholic, if you feel the way you do about the Church.

If the Church were to demand that all women using the Pill left or ban them from Communion like the evil divorcees, they’d go out of business.

The Church does not demand that anyone leave the Church. Even if someone is doing what the Church teaches is sinful, the sinner needs the Church more than anyone. But the Church does ALREADY ban those using contraception, except for legitimate medical reasons, from receiving Communion, just as it bans anyone who has unconfessed mortal sins on their soul from receiving Communion. That’s already a Church teaching.

But, for the record, “evil divorcees” are not prohibited from receiving Communion. It is not the act of divorce that prohibits one from receiving, it is the act of re-marriage, since the Church views the first marriage as still valid and, therefore, the second marriage as invalid and adultery. But I suppose such nuances do not matter when you’re inventing Church theology as you go.

It is actually sinful for Catholic couples to use birth control, including natural methods, to delay pregnancy unless there are serious issues with poverty. Catholic couples are supposed to be like the Duggars. A family that doesn’t have 10+ kids and is using any form of birth control is sinning. It is also apparently sinful for Catholic couples to completely abstain from sex. The only reason in the Catholic Church that people are allowed to marry and have sex is to create more Catholics (and the surplus sons can go into the priesthood.)

You are relying on some extremely questionable sources for your understanding of Catholic theology. Regardless of what you were told growing up, or what you’ve been told on the forums you link to, what you are saying is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches. First, there are parishes all around the country that teach NFP to Catholic couples and clearly explain that its use is both moral and licit. Second, yes, the Church does say that couples should not close themselves off to the possibility of childbirth without a serious reason, but no where does it say that reason has to be “serious issues with poverty.” There can be many reasons that a couple might validly choose to postpone having a child. Economic issues are but one reason.

However, what the Church does teach, and has always taught, is that the primary purpose of marriage is the raising of children. That purpose comes before any other. Once again, you do not have to agree with that, but if you don’t, why do you want to be a Catholic? I just can’t grasp why someone feels so strongly in opposition to what the Church teaches, yet wants to be a part of the Church.

Shump on January 27, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I’m sure that you have lots to say about the evils of Islam. Doesn’t it disturb you that the Catholic Church has fundamentalist strains in it that are only slightly less misogynist than Islam? And yes, there are people who call themselves Catholic and argue this.

Illinidiva on January 26, 2014 at 8:42 PM

FYI – blowing up infidels in the name of your religion and being told that sex is only for procreation are so entirely different that its ridiculous for you to compare them. Stop already. You sound like a buffoon.

deadrody on January 27, 2014 at 8:56 AM

MSNBC host Chris Hayes: Let’s face it, conservatives are just suspicious of birth people who are obsessed with population control

Which is the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about.

Progressives want fewer people, other than themselves. Period. Partly because of their delusional ideas about “Holy Mother Gaia”, but mostly because they see people who don’t agree with them 1000% on everything as getting in the way of their Utopia. (Yes, I meant “one thousand percent”- their delusions tend to extend to mathematical impossibilities, as well.)

I suspect their reasons for demanding that church groups fork over the money for birth control has less to do with equal rights to healthcare than it does with their formulation that

If we force the churches to fund contraception for their employees, there won’t be as many people in those groups in the next generation. Thus we will have forced a group we define as an enemy to destroy itself.

This of course presupposes that members of that group want to essentially wipe themselves out demographically speaking. If they don’t cooperate, I’m sure the next step, a decade or so down the road, will be to try to mandate certain groups be required to reduce their numbers. Or at least exert as much “public pressure” as possible on them to make it “unfashionable” for them to procreate.

Meanwhile, the progressives’ leaders will certainly try to reproduce themselves. After all, where would the Brave New World be without its Fearless Leaders?

The probable demographic crash will more likely be on their side, however. If enough of their followers buy into the “babies threaten (fill in the blank)” concept, dutiful followers that they are, they won’t reproduce.

At which point the Next Generation of would-be Lenins may find themselves with insufficient numbers of something without which they cannot expect to Triumph.

Namely, ready trigger fingers.

Oops.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 27, 2014 at 9:04 AM

I hate to break it to you, but you are not Catholic, no matter how you label yourself. The Catholic Church is an “all or nothing” proposition. One cannot be Catholic and only believe half of what the Church teaches. You may not think teachings about human sexuality are infallible, but according to the Church they are. And if you do not accept the basic tenets of what the Church teaches regarding what is and is not infallible doctrine, then why belong to the Church in the first place? One can venerate the saints and honor Mary without being a Catholic.

And I am assuming that you agree with Pope Francis on “trickle down” economics.. Correct? Or how about birth control? Or perhaps the death penalty?

I’m sorry but the hypocrisy of conservative Catholics is breathtaking. I just loved the whining associated with the “Father” Z set after Evangelii Gaudium. My favorite is the Adam Shaw character, who is being set for by FoxNews.com as a serious Catholic commentator. I hate to tell you this honey, but you are as cafeteria as those evil Catholics that use birth control.

If you truly believe that is how the Catholic Church views women… if you truly believe that your only value to the Church is as a “baby incubator”… then why in the world would you want to call yourself Catholic? If that is what the Church actually taught (hint: it isn’t), I wouldn’t want to be a Catholic either.

There are men in the Church, especially those associated with the neo-traddies who are misogynists. I’d like to rid the Church of them.

I respect that you’re devoted to the saints and to Mary, but you could go to an Episcopalian church and find them praying to the saints too, without all those pesky teachings on contraception. I just don’t see why you want to be Catholic, if you feel the way you do about the Church.

Considering I’m Irish American, I have many issues with the WASP-y, elitist Episcopalian Church.

You are relying on some extremely questionable sources for your understanding of Catholic theology. Regardless of what you were told growing up, or what you’ve been told on the forums you link to, what you are saying is NOT what the Catholic Church teaches. First, there are parishes all around the country that teach NFP to Catholic couples and clearly explain that its use is both moral and licit. Second, yes, the Church does say that couples should not close themselves off to the possibility of childbirth without a serious reason, but no where does it say that reason has to be “serious issues with poverty.” There can be many reasons that a couple might validly choose to postpone having a child. Economic issues are but one reason.

It was a Catholic apologetics website. The whole idea is that people give questions about their faith to the website. And would the following reasons by licit reasons to delay childbirth.. Wanting to spend the summer backpacking around Europe or training to climb Mt. Everest. Or perhaps wanting to get a promotion at work.

However, what the Church does teach, and has always taught, is that the primary purpose of marriage is the raising of children. That purpose comes before any other. Once again, you do not have to agree with that, but if you don’t, why do you want to be a Catholic? I just can’t grasp why someone feels so strongly in opposition to what the Church teaches, yet wants to be a part of the Church.

Again.. Since you feel opposition to the Church’s policies on economics, why exactly do you want to remain with the Catholic Church? And yes, couples who get married generally want kids, but they also want to space out their kids and use safe, convenient birth control methods.

Illinidiva on January 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Illinidiva on January 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

You know the Catholic Church does have a field guide as to what are and are not matters of papal infallibility.

It’s called the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Perhaps you should get your theological understanding of the Catholic Church from it rather than from wherever you are getting it from – your sources are clearly erroneous, if not heretical.

The Catholic position on economic philosophy is to make a priority of serving the poor as Jesus did, using your own personal talents and abilities. The principle of subsidiarity is the key component of Catholic social teaching.

Dear woman, you have been very poorly catechized. It was not your fault then (two generations at least have suffered it), but it is your fault if you continue in your error being given the tools to address it.

BKennedy on January 27, 2014 at 9:37 AM

When the Pope was a political power unto himself back in the age of the crusades, there was a legitimate concern that priests’ sons would inherit church property without being ordained themselves. Priests have always been able to own property, which is one of the things that distinguishes them from ascetics. THAT is the real reason that priests must be unmarried men. It has nothing to do with misogyny.

I’ve actually heard very thoughtful arguments in favor of celibacy, so I don’t think that it is a misogynist policy. However, I do think that elderly men who have never even been married should be discussing birth control methods.

And as for the whole birth control thing, how do you square your assertions of misogyny with the fact that the church does not have an opinion on hormonal medical therapy outside of contraception? Or the fact that barrier contraception is frowned upon as well? Is that the church hating men or something?

The results of unprotected sex affects the lives of women in much more profound ways than it does the lives of men unless I missed the medical breakthrough that allowed guys to become pregnant.

FYI – blowing up infidels in the name of your religion and being told that sex is only for procreation are so entirely different that its ridiculous for you to compare them. Stop already. You sound like a buffoon.

deadrody on January 27, 2014 at 8:56 AM

You don’t think that arguing that women must wear long Little House on the Prarie skirts and that fathers and husbands have the right to choose those dowdy dresses and skirts (and otherwise control the lives of female family members) is close to Sharia Law. That is what is being proposed by extremist “Catholics” in the link that I gave. I’m frankly very tired of having to constantly explain the Catholic Church to non-Catholic (especially Jewish friends) when some wacky extremist “Catholic” spouts off anti-Semitic nonsense.

Illinidiva on January 27, 2014 at 9:39 AM

And I am assuming that you agree with Pope Francis on “trickle down” economics.. Correct? Or how about birth control? Or perhaps the death penalty?

You are either being intentionally obtuse to support your agenda (my guess) or you are truly, horrible miseducated about the Church. Do you honestly have no understanding of the difference between what is infallible Church dogma and what is not?

Choice of economic systems is not a matter of Church dogma. If it were, all Popes would have to be in agreement — as all have been regarding contraception, for example. But Popes have not all been in agreement regarding economic systems. Pope John XXIII, for example, rather directly condemned even the slightest flirtation with socialism. Pope Francis, OTOH, seems to have a more favorable view of it. The infallible teaching of the Church is regarding our obligation to help the poor and on the dangers of greed. But as to which particular economic system best achieves those goals, that is not a matter of Church dogma.

Regarding contraception and the death penalty, yes, I do agree with Pope Francis on both of those, as I am opposed to the use of both.

It was a Catholic apologetics website.

I’m familiar with the site. I’m also familiar with Fr. Z. And while I happen to generally think both the site and Fr. Z are fairly reliable sources of information on balance, neither constitutes the Church. As another poster has already mentioned, if you want to know the actual teachings of the Church, read them. They’re not hidden. They’re out there. Start with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I believe you’ll find quite a strong condemnation of contraception. What you won’t find is any talk of women needing to be nothing more than “baby incubators” or socialism being the preferred economic system of the Church.

And would the following reasons by licit reasons to delay childbirth.. Wanting to spend the summer backpacking around Europe or training to climb Mt. Everest. Or perhaps wanting to get a promotion at work.

If those were isolated matters for a specific time period, yes, of course they would be licit. My wife and I actually have used NFP to delay our next child because of a planned vacation. The thing you can’t do is to delay having children indefinitely because you say “if I had [more] children, I’d never be able to decide to go backpacking around Europe.” That’s closing yourself off from children in a way that’s quite different from saying “next summer we’ve got a big trip planned to Europe so we’re going to hold off on our next child for a year.”

Also, contrary to what you seem to think, the Church does not publish a bullet point list of the reasons you can and cannot use to delay childbirth. The Church gives guidance about the proper role of sexuality in marriage, and the importance regarding the raising of children, and then leaves it to the properly formed conscience of the couples to determine what is and is not a sufficiently grave reason for them to delay having a child.

I’ve actually heard very thoughtful arguments in favor of celibacy, so I don’t think that it is a misogynist policy. However, I do think that elderly men who have never even been married should be discussing birth control methods.

You keep mentioning “elderly men.” First off, that presumes that these allegedly elderly men are writing Church policy on this matter on a seemingly regular basis and that they could change it just as easily. They aren’t, and they can’t. These teachings have been consistent through the life of the Church and, as a Catholic, you should understand that Church doctrine cannot be changed by anyone, even a Pope. Secondly, there are lots of men (and women) in the Church who support the Church’s teachings on contraception who are not elderly. Why do you continue to insist on using this false characterization of where Church teachings come from?

You don’t think that arguing that women must wear long Little House on the Prarie skirts and that fathers and husbands have the right to choose those dowdy dresses and skirts (and otherwise control the lives of female family members) is close to Sharia Law. That is what is being proposed by extremist “Catholics” in the link that I gave.

Thank goodness you at least acknowledge that these are extremist “Catholics.” May I assume that your acknowledgment of that means that you realize their views are not actually representative of what the Church teaches?

But, no, even though I disagree with them, and so does the Church, I don’t think it even remotely compares to Sharia law. Tell me where this group of extremist Catholics is advocating strapping bombs to their children and sending them into liberal Catholic parishes to kill the heretics, and then I’ll consider the possible similarities.

Shump on January 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM

-snip-
Considering I’m Irish American, I have many issues with the WASP-y, elitist Episcopalian Church.
-snip-
Illinidiva on January 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Have you looked at the Episcopalians lately? Based on what I’m hearing out of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, “anything goes” is only a slight exaggeration. (Breaks my heart.)

Oh, and I am 1/4 Irish.

Kevin K. on January 27, 2014 at 1:01 PM

You see, conservatives and people who care about the First Amendment generally can simultaneously believe that (a) birth control should be widely available and affordable in a free society, and (b) the federal government shouldn’t force people to pay for (or facilitate) others’ contraception — especially if those people are, say, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

I simultaneously believe both, too. I’m personally not crazy about artificial contraception (while I’m not scolding those who’ve used it). I wish more people correctly understood religious teachings on the matter (most do not seem to), and I wish more people knew what natural family planning is (and what it isn’t). I think non-abortafacient contraception should be perfectly legal; I don’t think anyone should be forced to be involved with it against his or her will.

bmmg39 on January 29, 2014 at 3:57 PM

I find it very easy to believe that Guy Benson is buddies with one of the stupidest liberal jackasses in media. Such is Guy’s intellectual integrity.

Whereas, on the other hand, I found it appalling and sickening to learn that one of Tucker Carlson’s close friends is the piece of garbage Terry McAuliffe.

Jaibones on February 3, 2014 at 7:34 PM

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